Ho, ho, judge.So I was talking on the phone to Rina tonight. Somewhere between the cackling, we managed to eek out a conversation.

Her daughter Ashley was giving her a hard time about going to bed. At only four, Ashley has already become wise to many of the tactics employed by her parents to achieve results, leaving them weaponless in a very dangerous war. Recently, however, Ashley’s dad found a whole new box of grenades.

Santa grenades.


hoYou tell her if she doesn’t behave, or go to sleep, or whatever (the beauty is that it works for everything), that you are going to tell Santa. You are going to tell Santa and he will be very sad.

Yes. Does it ring a bell? Once Rina said it, I immediately recalled memories of my mother telling my sister, “If you don’t stop that, I’m going to call him right now,” and picking up the phone. And my sister would cry, and cry, and cry. And then she’d do whatever you wanted her to do in the first place.

Brilliant.

At once, an idea developed in my twisted little mind.

hoWe need a Santa Claus for men. A Manta Claus.

Something that can be employed in moments of necessity, the ultimate power play.

What’s that? A bachelor party in Vegas this weekend? Oh, that’s ok. I don’t mind. I just think it might make Manta Claus sad. But you go ahead.

Home late again, huh? That’s it! I’m calling Manta. I’m calling him right now. See? Here I go. What? You’re sorry? Well, I don’t know…fine. But this is the last time.

A whole five minutes tonight, huh? Well, I guess someone WANTS coal in their stocking for Dickmas.

hoOf course, in order for this to be effective, Manta Claus would have to be in possession of something that men cherish as much as children cherish new bicycles.

And I can only think of one thing they adore that much.

So, I guess that makes me my own Manta Claus. Or maybe Santa Crotch.

Looks like Dickmas might come early this year.